The Ting Tings/Grandmaster Flash Party in Scottsdale Was as Weird as It Sounds

The Ting Tings didn't draw much of a crowd, but they sure played a helluva show.
The Ting Tings didn't draw much of a crowd, but they sure played a helluva show.
Benjamin Leatherman

Moves Magazine's website launch party -- Moves Magazine Kick-Off Party -- took place Wednesday night at the Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale, and except for an exceptional performance by British dance-punk duo The Ting Tings, it really wasn't that much different than any other night in Scottsdale.

There was valet parking, velvet ropes, a red carpet full of pseudo-celebrities, and a whole lot of expensively dressed people trying their hardest to be "seen" at the party. To be fair, former Los Angeles Laker Rick Fox was there.

Celebrity host Simeon Rice (three-time Pro Bowl selection and former Arizona Cardinal) not only showed up as well, but he did so in sweatpants. The best-dressed person in the room was in a tuxedo, nearly all of the ladies present were in cocktail dresses. The average for a male was probably a button-down, jeans, and a blazer.

I gotta say that I fully respect the sweatpants move because you really cannot put a price on comfort. Especially at a pre-Super Bowl event full of drunk strangers, most of whom are fan boys -- like me. (I got an autograph, what of it?)

But wise fashion choices by personal heroes aside, the lion's share of the evening was nothing but $8 drinks, $13 cocktails, bad EDM, and quite a few lip injections and nose jobs that were worse than the music.

Grandmaster Flash
Grandmaster Flash
Benjamin Leatherman

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Grandmaster Flash finally took the stage right around 11 p.m. for his DJ set, and for the first 45 or so minutes, I have to say, I really felt bad for the guy. He kinda bungled his second song, but I doubt anyone noticed because no one paid any attention to him for half his set.

In the early goings, the legendary MC and DJ called out for the crowd to cheer when they heard their pick for the Super Bowl shouted out. I'm not certain everyone there knew who was in the game, or that there even was a game. Flash's request just seemed foreign to the chatty crowd.

Shortly after, Flash called for the crowd to put their hands up, and literally three people complied.

But he got the energy going eventually, and as people became more intoxicated, they found their way out onto the dance floor. Flash definitely had a rich Scottsdale crowd twerking and dropping it like it was hot.

I was really disappointed by his set both as a somewhat casual hip-hop fan and as a fan of quality music. Grandmaster Flash's vinyl collection must be absolutely outrageous; he's probably got records that even well-rounded hip-hoppers have never heard of that are amazing.

But there he was running music off his MacBook and hardly doing any scratching at all. His song choice was pretty weak, too. I know it's a Scottsdale crowd, but come on -- playing "Yeah" by Usher and Lil John right before "Get Low"? That's high school prom bush league DJ stuff, not to mention the EDM cuts.

DJ Snake, to answer your question, turn down so I don't kill myself.  

The Ting Tings/Grandmaster Flash Party in Scottsdale Was as Weird as It Sounds
Benjamin Leatherman

A large majority of the crowd had taken enough selfies to make sure all their social media accounts reflected their attendance at the party by the end of Grandmaster Flash's set. So by the time he wrapped up at about 12:45 a.m., the party was getting pretty thin.

The Ting Tings went on around 1:15 a.m., and by this time, the room had really cleared out. I've personally put together shows that drew more people than were left at the Valley Ho by the time the English indie pop duo went on, and it was amazing! I'm not going to complain about front row center standing three feet away from a Grammy nominee.

The 50 or 60 people left at the party, Simeon Rice included, spent the rest of the night dancing and screaming while Kate White absolutely lit up the room.

The way they had the stage set up felt like a house party as a hoity-toity hotel. White was getting right up in audience members' faces and dancing and singing with them. One girl jumped on stage to give White a quick high five, and, later, a different girl got right next to White on stage and danced with her for bit.

Besides just being cool with the fan interaction, White sort of treated the show like a house party as she just flung things at the ground as she was done using them. Like her guitar picks, bottles of water, a bass drum, and one of her guitars.

As much as I hate to admit it, because I'm not so keen on the Super Bowl being in Phoenix, Wednesday night's concert was the sort of thing that only happens when an absolutely huge event comes through town.

The Ting Tings/Grandmaster Flash Party in Scottsdale Was as Weird as It Sounds
Benjamin Leatherman

Critic's Notebook:

Last Night: Grandmaster Flash, and The Ting Tings at Hotel Valley Ho

Songs That Grandmaster Flash Played That Literally Played At My High School Prom: "Everyday People," "Ballin," "Get Low," "Yeah," "Be Faithful"

The Ting Tings' Set List: "Do It Again" "Shut Up" "Hang It Up" "Great DJ" "Fruit Machine" "That's Not My Name" "Wrong Club" "Hands" Encore " "Green Poison"

Overheard in the crowd: "Let's not pop those here, or anywhere in Scottsdale." This happened in the bathroom, not sure who said it or what they were talking about. But in my heart of hearts I know it's drugs.

Stargazing: The two most notable celebs that attended the party were former L.A. Lakers small forward (and Oz actor) Rick Fox and famed sports agent Leigh Steinberg, the inspiration behind Jerry Maguire.

Random Notebook Dump: Drunk girl who tried to force your way in front of me and then ended up next to me during the rest of the The Ting Tings set: If you are reading this I hate you.

Find any show in Metro Phoenix via our extensive online concert calendar.

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